CLEMSON, S.C. – An early Alabama goal proved decisive, as the Clemson women’s soccer team fell to the Crimson Tide 1-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Historic Riggs Field on Friday evening. The Tigers (12-7-1, 6-3-1 ACC) battled valiantly and put together an impressive 14-shot offensive effort in the second half, but ultimately came up just short as the Crimson Tide turned away every chance for an equalizer. It was only Clemson’s third time being shut out all season.
Alabama (11-9-1, 5-4-1 SEC) struck in just the fourth minute, capitalizing on an opportunity as Allie Burk snuck a shot into the back of the net to put the Crimson Tide ahead. However, the Tigers generated a few chances for an equalizer and recorded six shots in the half, including a Makenna Morris strike which was only to be denied by a lunging save by Alabama goalkeeper, McKinley Crone. The Crimson Tide defensive front kept the potent offense at bay for the remainder of the period, and the Tigers went into the break with a one-goal deficit.
Clemson opened the second half with a high-energy offensive attack. The Tigers maintained much of the possession in the offensive end and generated three corner-kick opportunities in the early parts of the period. On the third corner, Renee Guion played in a beautiful ball to Megan Bornkamp, whose header ricocheted off the crossbar but was ultimately grabbed by the goalkeeper. Just a few minutes later, Caroline Conti ripped a brilliant shot destined for the back of the net, but Crone knocked the ball away with another leaping save. The Clemson attack persisted with a multitude of chances, as the Tigers logged 10 corner kicks and totaled 20 shots in the contest. However, Alabama staved off every opportunity for a last-second equalizer.
The Tigers conclude their season with a 12-7-1 overall record and 6-3-1 mark in ACC play. The season resulted in the program’s eighth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
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